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Burundi, Government

A 1981 constitution established Burundi as a single-party republic with a directly elected president. The nationís sole legal political party was the Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progres National, or UPRONA). Following a coup in 1987, the National Assembly was dissolved and the constitution was suspended, as the Military Committee for National Salvation assumed executive and legislative authority. A new constitution adopted in March 1992 introduced a multiparty system, with a directly elected president as head of state, an 81-member National Assembly, and a prime minister (appointed by the president) as head of government. A 1993 constitutional amendment transferred the election of the president to the National Assembly. The constitution was suspended and the National Assembly dissolved after another military coup in July 1996. A transitional constitution was adopted in June 1998 that made the president both chief of state and head of government, eliminated the position of prime minister, and enlarged the National Assembly to 121 members. A new transitional constitution approved in October 2001 provides for a three-year transitional administration designed to share power between Hutu and Tutsi parties. It calls for the creation of a new, two-chamber legislative body.

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